Santa Barbara Clam Chowder

A chowder with more broth and clean clam flavor, this version of chowder contains no flour. It is thickened only with potato.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hour

Pair With: A light white wine.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients For Clam Broth:

3 lb. live clams

4 stalks of celery

3 carrots

1/4 cup parsley

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig oregano

2 baking potatoes, cut into pieces, for broth

 

Ingredients For Clam Chowder:

3 red potatoes, peeled, diced

2 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, minced fine

1 cloves garlic, minced fine

1 cup half-and-half

salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

chives for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Directions To Make Clam Broth:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Scrub the clams then carefully add them and cook for 5-10 minutes until all the clams have opened. Discard any that do not open. Remove the clams and shells to a dish to cool.

Chop the celery and carrots into equal sized pieces. Add the celery, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and oregano to the broth and turn the heat down to medium low so the broth is at a low boil.

Remove the clam meat from the shells and reserve--put the shells back into the broth. Cook for about 20 minutes, skimming any foam off as it cooks.

Cut the baking potatoes into small pieces and add to the broth. Cook another 30 minutes until the potato is completely soft and falls apart when you push on it with a spoon. Remove the clam shells. Remove the broth from heat and let the soup cool enough so you can safely strain the broth through a fine mesh colander into another pot. Pick out the carrots if you want to save them for another dish, and also set aside the potato to cool. Discard the rest. Discard any potato skin left on the potatoes, then mash them. Stir the mashed potato into the soup.

Directions For Clam Chowder:

Chop the clams and add them and the diced red potato to the broth and turn the heat on low. Simmer until the potato is tender. In the meantime, sweat (cook without browning) the onion and garlic in the butter until the onion is translucent. Add to the chowder along with the half-and-half and season to taste with white pepper and salt. Garnish with chopped chives.

 

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Chef's Notes:

Live clams should be shut tight and shells intact. Otherwise, they may be dead and will give the soup a bad taste. Scrub the clams with a brush before using.